U.S. Pairs 2018-19 season - News & Updates, Part IX

Frau Muller

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I really enjoyed the Knierims’ new, softer SP costumes at 2019 Nationals, even though they didn’t perform as well as expected. They looked more like humans than robots.
 

aftershocks

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And now, let's root for the Knierims to relax, regain their confidence, adjust to their new training environment and live up to their new programs, which I think they should keep for next season. At least they should keep their sp and likely work with their choreographer, Benoit Richaud, on a new fp.
 

Spiralgraph

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Yes, the Knierims' costumes looked much nicer to me. If they decide to continue competing after Chris heals, they should keep the changes to a minimum. After this past year with all their moves that didn't work out they need a stable coaching team. And I also think keeping Richaud as their choreographer would be wise.
 

essence_of_soy

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I'm sure it must have been a source of embarrassment somewhat for the Knierims, heavily promoting their coaching switch to Aliona Savchenko, only to have it become such a high-profile bust.

Here's hoping next season isn't such a rocky road for them.
 
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olympic

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We were discussing D/F amidst Brennan's article:

I had not seen them at all for some time, but the way in which they skated the SP at Nationals was eye-opening and I immediately thought of them sharing Zimmerman w/ J/C, and what a great influence on them it must be.
 

chachacha

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We were discussing D/F amidst Brennan's article:

I had not seen them at all for some time, but the way in which they skated the SP at Nationals was eye-opening and I immediately thought of them sharing Zimmerman w/ J/C, and what a great influence on them it must be.
Denney and Frazier demonstrated improvement. Hopefully Haven can continue to improve so they can get a second triple jump as she still singled her double axle. If they can continue to show improvement with their skating skills and sbs jumps they could be a force to reckon with. There pair elements are world class. Hoping they can continue to improve in the off season.
 

aftershocks

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^^ Haven experienced a stress fracture this season, which had to be difficult on top of likely still recovering mentally from the knee surgery and rehab and everything that entailed. I think Haven is amazing, as are most pairs ladies. :)

We were discussing D/F amidst Brennan's article:

I had not seen them at all for some time, but the way in which they skated the SP at Nationals was eye-opening and I immediately thought of them sharing Zimmerman w/ J/C, and what a great influence on them it must be.
Exactly. As I mentioned earlier, it's too bad no one asked D/F in the presser about training again with John Z & crew, particularly now with J/C and other French skaters as training mates.

I'm sure it must have been a source of embarrassment somewhat for the Knierims, heavily promoting their coaching switch to Aliona Savchenko, only to have it become such a high-profile bust.
Here's hoping next season isn't such a rocky road for them.
Perhaps the coaching relationship itself was a bust, but I don't think the entire experience was a bust. The Knierims did learn a lot from Savchenko apparently, and they did improve obviously. It's just that everything else that happened and the eventual split itself caused problems for them being able to fully apply in competition all that they learned.

And now they are adjusting to another new location, new coaches and training center. That's a lot to go through in one season, especially now with Chris' wrist injury. In general, ever since her illness, Alexa has seemed to be dealing with some emotional stress. But Chris has her back, and they both seem to be trying to handle it all with humor. Hopefully, they will invest in a sports psychologist, if they haven't already.
 

essence_of_soy

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^^ Haven experienced a stress fracture this season, which had to be difficult on top of likely still recovering mentally from the knee surgery and rehab and everything that entailed. I think Haven is amazing, as are most pairs ladies. :)



Exactly. As I mentioned earlier, it's too bad no one asked D/F in the presser about training again with John Z & crew, particularly now with J/C and other French skaters as training mates.



Perhaps the coaching relationship itself was a bust, but I don't think the entire experience was a bust. The Knierims did learn a lot from Savchenko apparently, and they did improve obviously. It's just that everything else that happened and the eventual split itself caused problems for them being able to fully apply in competition all that they learned.

And now they are adjusting to another new location, new coaches and training center. That's a lot to go through in one season, especially now with Chris' wrist injury. In general, ever since her illness, Alexa has seemed to be dealing with some emotional stress. But Chris has her back, and they both seem to be trying to handle it all with humor. Hopefully, they will invest in a sports psychologist, if they haven't already.
I don't know what to think at this point.

Their best chance to capitalise was in 2016 after a fantastic event at Four Continents.

Skating is such a tough sport with so many internal and external variables. There are no guarantees.
 

aftershocks

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Their best chance to capitalise was in 2016 after a fantastic event at Four Continents
You mean D/F or the Knierims? D/F were out that season with Haven rehabbing after knee surgery, so I guess you mean the Knierims who placed 2nd at 4CCs. Honestly, the Knierims then performed fairly well at Worlds in 2016 (9th). They had their very good Elizabeth: The Golden Age fp that year, and it was a decent showing for them at Worlds, not spectacular since they didn't move up or hold onto their 2015 7th place finish.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that Alexa became seriously ill post-Worlds. For all we know, the beginnings of the illness could have been affecting her before she became drastically impacted that summer. Even on the day of the Knierims' marriage in the 2016 off-season, Alexa was very sick. And at that point, her illness was undiagnosed. Sadly, the Knierims' good showing at 2016 4CCs was not really their best opportunity to capitalize. It was their peak followed by the beginning of a downhill roller coaster ride, which they clearly had no way of controlling or avoiding. :(

And let's also remember that far from being able to capitalize in the absence of the Knierims on the 2016-17 GP, Haven & Brandon experienced high and low points in their comeback season. They started out well with a silver medal at Skate America, but Haven's knee was not really at full strength and their sbs jumps suffered all season. Plus, they were adjusting to a new coaching situation. So H&B were trying to rebound, while Alexa and Chris were doing their best to rebuild strength to make a latter half of the season come back. Neither team were ultimately very successful that season. But they were and are both gamers. Both teams faced misfortunes out of their control which drastically slowed their momentum.

Kudos to both the Knierims and H&B for continuing to give it their all. H&B are showing signs of putting it all back together. And the Knierims took a huge risk this off-season which paid off in some ways, while testing them on numerous levels, physically, emotionally, logistically, etc. Both teams have been through a lot and fans should give them support and encouragement. Indeed all U.S. pairs deserve kudos and respect, not the constant disregard and underestimating they too often receive. I'm not speaking of you specifically @essence_of_soy, as I know you support U.S. pairs. :)
 

olympic

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You mean D/F or the Knierims? D/F were out that season with Haven rehabbing after knee surgery, so I guess you mean the Knierims who placed 2nd at 4CCs. Honestly, the Knierims then performed fairly well at Worlds in 2016 (9th). They had their very good Elizabeth: The Golden Age fp that year, and it was a decent showing for them at Worlds, not spectacular since they didn't move up or hold onto their 2015 7th place finish.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that Alexa became seriously ill post-Worlds. For all we know, the beginnings of the illness could have been affecting her before she became drastically impacted that summer. Even on the day of the Knierims' marriage in the 2016 off-season, Alexa was very sick. And at that point, her illness was undiagnosed. Sadly, the Knierims' good showing at 2016 4CCs was not really their best opportunity to capitalize. It was their peak followed by the beginning of a downhill roller coaster ride, which they clearly had no way of controlling or avoiding. :(

And let's also remember that far from being able to capitalize in the absence of the Knierims on the 2016-17 GP, Haven & Brandon experienced high and low points in their comeback season. They started out well with a silver medal at Skate America, but Haven's knee was not really at full strength and their sbs jumps suffered all season. Plus, they were adjusting to a new coaching situation. So H&B were trying to rebound, while Alexa and Chris were doing their best to rebuild strength to make a latter half of the season come back. Neither team were ultimately very successful that season. But they were and are both gamers. Both teams faced misfortunes out of their control which drastically slowed their momentum.

Kudos to both the Knierims and H&B for continuing to give it their all. H&B are showing signs of putting it all back together. And the Knierims took a huge risk this off-season which paid off in some ways, while testing them on numerous levels, physically, emotionally, logistically, etc. Both teams have been through a lot and fans should give them support and encouragement. Indeed all U.S. pairs deserve kudos and respect, not the constant disregard and underestimating they too often receive. I'm not speaking of you specifically @essence_of_soy, as I know you support U.S. pairs. :)
I always thought that the Knierims were on the verge of that breakthrough in the 2015-16 season w/ the Metallica SP and the Elizabeth LP. I think the 2016 4CCs was their best competition ever. I was gutted by their 2016 mistake-riddled performances at Worlds.
 
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aftershocks

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I was gutted by their performances at 2016 mistake-riddled performances at Worlds.
Yeah true, but 9th wasn't awful considering. The judges actually gave the Knierims some breaks. The sad thing was that they didn't maintain their previous year's position or move up a notch. But as I said, who knows whether or not Alexa was starting to feel the beginnings of the illness that would overtake her and nearly kill her by that summer. :(
 
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clairecloutier

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At one point on Twitter, the Knierims said that Chris had an injury at 2016 Worlds, which kept them from performing as well there as they did at 2016 4CCs. My recollection is that it was a shoulder injury.
 

aftershocks

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BTW @clairecloutier, do you know if there's a good copy somewhere of the U.S. pairs medal ceremony? It's hard to understand why they cut off the broadcast before the pairs medal ceremony, when all of the medal ceremonies for the other disciplines were made available. :(

Pairs was the most exciting and dramatic event at U.S. nationals and they didn't cover the medal ceremony?! :wall: Was it because Charlie White (who was otherwise a good commentator) ended up saying "We're signing off..." and then the coverage ended before we even got to see an interview with the champions, forget about seeing the medal ceremony. :wuzrobbed Charlie only meant that he and Mike Weiss were leaving the broadcast booth. The action was not over yet!

There's apparently nothing available on U.S. fs fan zone either! All I found on Youtube is a very poor quality fancam clip (too far away and can't see anything, except for a few inadequate shots of the jumbotron screen in the arena).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6B5D1BokGQ fancam poor quality

To make matters worse, the Bridgestone Ice Desk pairs wrap-up contains a horrendous and annoying laid-over audio track that's clearly a mistake which no one noticed and fixed. We can't hear or understand what the Ice Desk hosts are saying. Not that it matters too much I guess, since it's largely surface chatter. They didn't even have the good sense or foresight to show us some of the medal ceremony which had just concluded when they came on the air. :duh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyiWcnCTXQ8

In any case, I really enjoyed the U.S. Nationals pairs event. There's so much to see upon repeat viewings. Lots of promising teams too. Don't you agree @clairecloutier?
 

clairecloutier

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@aftershocks Yes, there are some interesting new and younger U.S. pairs. As to the pairs medal ceremony at Natls, I'm afraid I don't know of any videos of it, but maybe someone else does?
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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Im feeling more confident C&L can get 10th place at Worlds. They got a new SB by over 10 points in the free.

They seemed to have fixed their landings on their throws. Their 3 twist is doing well.

They land their jumps!!!! They did tho get a < on the 3 loops in both programs.. Was it Ashley????

I feel secure watching them now.... more than any other US team.

Although... how many entries does China have next month???
 

shuilee

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CHN only has 2 spots for Worlds. That's why Deanna said in press conference that this is our best chance ever to get back 2 spots.

If we combine Euro & 4CC results:

1. FRA
2. RUS
3. CHN
4. CAN
5. CHN
6. RUS
7. ITA
8. RUS* (assuming Z&E here)
9. USA

USA should be around 9th if C&L skates like they did here at 4CC. Even if North Koreans skate well, then USA will still be 10th.

Only way USA drops below 10th is if they lose to the Austrian team or the German team. Could happen if C&L makes mistakes, but I think they've got a 70% chance of finishing top 10 ahead of GER and AUT.
 

olympic

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CHN only has 2 spots for Worlds. That's why Deanna said in press conference that this is our best chance ever to get back 2 spots.

If we combine Euro & 4CC results:

1. FRA
2. RUS
3. CHN
4. CAN
5. CHN
6. RUS
7. ITA
8. RUS* (assuming Z&E here)
9. USA

USA should be around 9th if C&L skates like they did here at 4CC. Even if North Koreans skate well, then USA will still be 10th.

Only way USA drops below 10th is if they lose to the Austrian team or the German team. Could happen if C&L makes mistakes, but I think they've got a 70% chance of finishing top 10 ahead of GER and AUT.
I would say that between Nationals and 4 CCs, there is a good chance of a top 10 finish for C/L. If they ever cleanly land the 3L, they would be above 200 points. I wonder if a 3T would be considered
 

Cleo1782

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I would say that between Nationals and 4 CCs, there is a good chance of a top 10 finish for C/L. If they ever cleanly land the 3L, they would be above 200 points. I wonder if a 3T would be considered
Ashley is much stronger at edge jumps. I think she can do a 3t but a 3r is easier for her.
 

Karen-W

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I agree that C/L stand a very good chance of earning back the 2nd pairs spot for the US. They've had two really great, consistent competitions in a row now (and before the freak fall in Croatia, they were skating really well and probably would have won that one as well). They've cemented themselves as the top US team, by a country mile, and if they continue to skate clean programs, their PCS will increase.
 

Jozet

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Ashley Cain Fights Off Post-Concussion Syndrome To Place Fourth With Timothy LeDuc At Four Continents

https://www.teamusa.org/News/2019/February/09/Ashley-Cain-Fights-Off-Post-Concussion-Syndrome-Place-Fourth-Timothy-LeDuc-Four-Continents

I know I'm second-guessing her doctors.

But I find this very concerning and representative of USFSA's lackadaisical attitude toward head injuries.

"Ashley Cain woke up Saturday morning and didn’t feel like herself. She was in a fog.

Cain knew this was a lingering effect of the concussion she suffered in December when she fell on her head coming down from a lift during a competition in Croatia.

But Cain and partner Timothy LeDuc had the pairs final at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships a few hours later."

My kids play hockey and soccer. All the best practices protocols for return to play include a step-up program that includes return to light exercise with no symptoms, return to practice with no symptoms, return to competition with no symptoms. Any return of symptoms steps the athlete back to lower level and even with adults, a week without symptoms at any level of exertion is the practice for most high-level athletes.

If she does have post-concussion syndrome as the article states, this is nothing to mess around with. You don't "shake off" a concussion, and competing with symptoms or that close to symptoms could be seen as negligent and possibly negligent within definitions of SafeSport.

Athletes who want to compete will often hide symptoms; this is more or less a fact. A second impact before the brain is completely healed -- which studies show can take up to six months even after symptoms are gone -- can cause second impact syndrome, a rare condition, but one that overwhelmingly occurs in young people and with death or permanent disability the outcome.

I'm sorry, but with all the concussion research out there and readily available via hockey, football, rugby and soccer, skating the day of symptoms is not safe, not smart, and USFSA and coaches have to do much better.

Electrolytes, a nap and a meal and back to play that day of symptoms are not in any sports concussion protocol I've ever seen as a part of a safe and responsible concussion treatment protocol. This is horrifying.
 
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Jozet

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Not so much impressive as it is worrisome. Should athletes really be competing if they feel effects from their concussion?
The answer to that questions according to all the best and current research is a resounding "NO." There is no reputable concussion protocol out there that allows for return to play the day of symptoms.
 

haribobo

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It's kind of strange that it took a concussion for cain/leduc to start skating this well, but oh well. I would like to see s/b and c/j assigned to some competition just so they can build a little more rep and see how their scores compare to 4cc skaters. Haven/Brandon are hitting all their elements besides jumps really well, so that is good at least.
 

chachacha

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Ashley Cain Fights Off Post-Concussion Syndrome To Place Fourth With Timothy LeDuc At Four Continents

https://www.teamusa.org/News/2019/February/09/Ashley-Cain-Fights-Off-Post-Concussion-Syndrome-Place-Fourth-Timothy-LeDuc-Four-Continents

I know I'm second-guessing her doctors.

But I find this very concerning and representative of USFSA's lackadaisical attitude toward head injuries.

"Ashley Cain woke up Saturday morning and didn’t feel like herself. She was in a fog.

Cain knew this was a lingering effect of the concussion she suffered in December when she fell on her head coming down from a lift during a competition in Croatia.

But Cain and partner Timothy LeDuc had the pairs final at the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships a few hours later."

My kids play hockey and soccer. All the best practices protocols for return to play include a step-up program that includes return to light exercise with no symptoms, return to practice with no symptoms, return to competition with no symptoms. Any return of symptoms steps the athlete back to lower level and even with adults, a week without symptoms at any level of exertion is the practice for most high-level athletes.

If she does have post-concussion syndrome as the article states, this is nothing to mess around with. You don't "shake off" a concussion, and competing with symptoms or that close to symptoms could be seen as negligent and possibly negligent within definitions of SafeSport.

Athletes who want to compete will often hide symptoms; this is more or less a fact. A second impact before the brain is completely healed -- which studies show can take up to six months even after symptoms are gone -- can cause second impact syndrome, a rare condition, but one that overwhelmingly occurs in young people and with death or permanent disability the outcome.

I'm sorry, but with all the concussion research out there and readily available via hockey, football, rugby and soccer, skating the day of symptoms is not safe, not smart, and USFSA and coaches have to do much better.

Electolytes, a nap and a meal and back to play that day of symptoms are not in any sports concussion protocol I've ever seen as a part of a safe and responsible concussion treatment protocol. This is horrifying.
I agree with your concerns. I question if she really has been actually diagnosed with a concussion because anyone else would not be cleared to participate in such high level sports activity so soon after being diagnosed with a concussion. I think they are making a story over there horrific fall but not realizing it makes people in the medical field question how she has been cleared to participate in such high level activity so soon after her so called “Concussion”. I think the athletes, USFSA are not realizing how ignorant they look and now I’m really questioning if Ashley Cain really was actually diagnosed with a concussion since reading this latest article makes them and all her so called “doctors” look really stupid and ignorant. Many skaters have suffered concussions and never has one seen a skater be back on the ice back at full training and at high level competition within 5-6 weeks after suffering a concussion. I think she may have suffered more impact to her neck and her head was protected by her bun. Don’t get me wrong it was a horrific fall, but based on this team back so soon competing and training. She could not have been diagnosed with an actual concussion and still be symptomatic and cleared to train and compete at such a high level. If so, as a Medical Provider, it’s disturbing that her medical team has actually cleared her. But hey it makes for a great story line 😂😂😂😂😂 but I question her so called concussion diagnosis.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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4,534
What makes Ashley's case so unique is that she was unconscious briefly for a moment on the ice!!!!

And then came to, and continued to skate.

On a seriousness level thats a 10.

Hope she is and stays healthy.

They have now about 5 weeks to Worlds? Hopefully she can also get rest.

Love them.
 

semogal

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I hope that Haven can work out her jump issues because they were my favorite US team at 4CC. K/O are losing the things that I loved about them since their switch to Delilah. C/L I just can’t watch in real time because their lifts scare me too much.
 

Jozet

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Messages
1,957
I agree with your concerns. I question if she really has been actually diagnosed with a concussion because anyone else would not be cleared to participate in such high level sports activity so soon after being diagnosed with a concussion. I think they are making a story over there horrific fall but not realizing it makes people in the medical field question how she has been cleared to participate in such high level activity so soon after her so called “Concussion”. I think the athletes, USFSA are not realizing how ignorant they look and now I’m really questioning if Ashley Cain really was actually diagnosed with a concussion since reading this latest article makes them and all her so called “doctors” look really stupid and ignorant. Many skaters have suffered concussions and never has one seen a skater be back on the ice back at full training and at high level competition within 5-6 weeks after suffering a concussion. I think she may have suffered more impact to her neck and her head was protected by her bun. Don’t get me wrong it was a horrific fall, but based on this team back so soon competing and training. She could not have been diagnosed with an actual concussion and still be symptomatic and cleared to train and compete at such a high level. If so, as a Medical Provider, it’s disturbing that her medical team has actually cleared her. But hey it makes for a great story line 😂😂😂😂😂 but I question her so called concussion diagnosis.
Many sports, including hockey, football, rugby and soccer, are only now putting together somewhat protective protocols for athletes. Even within high-collision, full-contact sports, there is lack of education of players, parents, coaches and officials.

As a parent and board member, and as someone who is working very hard to make youth sports safer, I have seen little to no evidence that figure skating organizations are promoting anywhere near the level of education that other sports are currently advocating. What went on with Ashley -- with obvious loss of consciousness -- is usually evidence of the more severe forms of traumatic brain injury. It would be very unusual at this point to see anything but a long return to play for even NHL players, especially after a head hit with loss of consciousness evident.

Knowing what we know the about poor decision making and abuses of power of other medical personnel within this and other sports, it would not be out of the bounds of reason to wonder whether concussion protocols in figure skating needed some stricter regulation and rules about return to play.

Would athletes hide symptoms? I'm guessing they already are. Again, this is where education, awareness and strict protocols must be enforced. And certainly, it should never be celebrated by Team USA that an athlete soldiered on and competed the same day they reported potential concussion symptoms tied to post concussion syndrome. This is irresponsible and backwards thinking.
 
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chachacha

Active Member
Messages
172
I hope that Haven can work out her jump issues because they were my favorite US team at 4CC. K/O are losing the things that I loved about them since their switch to Delilah. C/L I just can’t watch in real time because their lifts scare me too much.
It’s been a few years that Haven has actually jumped a 2nd jump pass. I think they have reached there peak on jumps. It’s really unfortunate because if Denney could jump they would be competitive internationally. I wonder if maybe Denney & Frazier should consider retiring or perhaps Frazier should explore his options. He’s only 26 and has stayed loyal but it’s holding him back.
 

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